Definition of murmur in English:

murmur

noun

  • 1A low continuous background noise.

    ‘the distant murmur of traffic’
    • ‘The whole medical section was silent for a moment save for the hum of equipment, then the background murmur started again.’
    • ‘Flags flap briskly in a stiffening wind, providing the only sounds beyond the clicking of cameras and the distant murmur of cars making their slow, careful way to the site.’
    • ‘Snow-like petals carpeted the lawn, softening the sound of footsteps to a distant murmur.’
    • ‘If you're looking for a glamorous night out, bathed in the glow of candlelight with the unassuming murmur of trip hop in the background, than you've come to the wrong place.’
    • ‘Cath watched long enough that the sounds in the cafeteria became a distant murmur, a sort of background noise to her thoughts.’
    • ‘The only sound was the soft murmur of the computers, the steady tick of the clock, and the somewhat less steady tapping of Pierson rhythmically belting his chair with his fingers.’
    • ‘The pin-drop silence at the start gradually melted into a gentle background murmur, full of the sound of papers rustling, friends whispering and restless feet shuffling.’
    • ‘Synths and strings melt together for a lush background murmur, behind the lean, precise jazz-pop song structures, all wrapped in thick, warm production.’
    • ‘The noises of the performance were now a distant murmur, but other than that it was completely silent.’
    burble, babble, purl, gurgle
    hum, humming, buzz, buzzing, whir, thrum, thrumming, drone, sigh
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  • 2A softly spoken or almost inaudible utterance.

    ‘a quiet murmur of thanks’
    • ‘‘I'll teach you,’ he kept muttering, though his murmurs were nearly indecipherable.’
    • ‘He asked quietly in almost a murmur, shifting only slightly in his seat so as not to disturb his precious burden.’
    • ‘Because as soon as you step in, you become aware of a huge sea of noise stretching away before you: whispers, murmurs, bangs, shouts, swearing, poems, confessions, exhortations.’
    • ‘With a murmur of thanks he took it from me and began rapidly riffling through the pages until he came to ‘The Phoenix and the Turtle.’’
    • ‘He continues to explain himself in a murmur as the whole bank listens in.’
    • ‘Receiving only an inaudible murmur in response, he returned his attention to the occupied seats across the room.’
    • ‘There were thousands of murmurs, all whispering: ‘What did he just say?’’
    • ‘There was a general murmur of thanks and hope-she-gets-betters, and then, one by one, they all left the hall in hushed excitement.’
    • ‘I let out a breath, along with a little murmur of thanks to whatever god might be up there.’
    • ‘He has always answered questions slowly at a voice level hardly above a murmur and it is no different today.’
    1. 2.1 The quiet or subdued expression of a particular feeling by a group of people.
      ‘there were murmurs of dissent from his colleagues’
      • ‘The response from MPs consisted of sympathetic murmurs and mumbled hear-hears.’
      • ‘A soft murmur of agreement swept through the rest of them, and they were now facing the General with determination in their eyes.’
      • ‘But even at this period there were murmurs of dissent: Dr Johnson complained that Milton used ‘English words with a foreign idiom’.’
      • ‘A murmur of disbelief spread through the room, but quieted when she spoke again.’
      • ‘Loud gasps and quiet, anxious murmurs ripple through the lunch crowd.’
      • ‘There are also murmurs of dissent inside the house.’
      • ‘Her haggard face and melancholy expression elicited a murmur of shock from the assemblage of reporters as she moved to the podium and began to speak.’
      • ‘Now there's barely the slightest murmur of dissent.’
      • ‘There was a general murmur of approval and excitement.’
      • ‘When the change was announced in 1993 there was not a murmur of dissent.’
      • ‘There were murmurs of approval from the men and women of the council.’
      • ‘A murmur of thanks and respect rippled through the room.’
      • ‘Though there are murmurs of general approval, the crowd seems skeptical about its ability to implement such suggestions.’
      • ‘There were soft murmurs of good luck and the class began.’
      • ‘Wayward-looking tee shots were greeted with expectant murmurs of approval which turned into disappointed applause if the ball ended up on the green.’
      • ‘The air, the quiet murmur of happy kids, it all helped.’
      • ‘A warm murmur of approval rippled across the room.’
      • ‘Nary a murmur of dissent was voiced amongst the remarkably relaxed muso crowd.’
      • ‘The young woman's attack raises a murmur of approval from the other women in the room.’
      • ‘After that psychological barrier was passed, the remaining scrambles and squeezes were negotiated with relative ease, and any mutinous murmurs were thankfully subdued.’
      • ‘The others murmur what could be approval or embarrassment, nurse their bourbons, and glumly fall back into silence.’
      • ‘There were approving murmurs from people close by and at the conclusion, sustained but restrained applause.’
      whisper, undertone, mutter, mumble
      complaint, grumble, moan, grouse
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    2. 2.2 A rumour.
      ‘he had heard hints only, murmurs’
      • ‘There are murmurs that although he may have been a victim, he wasn't an innocent victim.’
      • ‘A key theme of his latest work is the spread of murmurs of apocalyptic marvels and of ambivalent savior-cum-charlatan figures on the horizon.’
      • ‘There are murmurs of fresh demonstrations in the town.’
      • ‘There are murmurs amongst aficionados of his edgy, Gothic parables of Americana that he has gone over to The Other Side and become mainstream.’
      • ‘There are murmurs that the incident was politically motivated.’
      • ‘There were murmurs of the deaths being part of some ritualistic killing.’
  • 3Medicine
    A recurring sound heard in the heart through a stethoscope that is usually a sign of disease or damage.

    ‘she had been born with a heart murmur’
    • ‘A murmur is heard through a stethoscope as the heart beats.’
    • ‘Cardiac and lung examinations were normal with normal heart sounds and no murmurs.’
    • ‘Sometimes, a doctor can determine with the stethoscope alone whether a particular murmur is a sign of heart disease.’
    • ‘A doctor may suspect aortic valve sclerosis on hearing a heart murmur with a stethoscope.’
    • ‘Careful examination of the heart may reveal murmurs, extra sounds, or cardiac enlargement.’

verb

  • 1reporting verb Say something in a low or indistinct voice.

    with object ‘Nina murmured an excuse and hurried away’
    with direct speech ‘‘How interesting,’ he murmured quietly’
    • ‘A hand stroked my hair and the voice murmured reassurances.’
    • ‘I am so caught up in thinking about the stark contrast that I don't hear the voices murmuring softly behind the door.’
    • ‘The voice murmured something and the door to their right opened.’
    • ‘His face turned bright red as he began to murmur an answer while staring at her sheet.’
    • ‘‘And here is where the real war begins,’ she murmured, opening the drawer of her desk.’
    • ‘She buried her face into the curve of my neck and hugged me tightly, her soft voice murmuring that everything would be okay.’
    • ‘‘It's alright ’, she murmured, her voice strained and hollow, even to her.’
    • ‘He kisses me softly on the forehead and murmurs; ‘Let's go.’’
    • ‘‘We'll chuck your things in my room,’ Alex murmured as he began walking up the stairs to the second floor.’
    • ‘He murmured something softly, but I had already left the room.’
    • ‘The other woman, her voice lower, murmured some words of consolation to her friend.’
    • ‘My cousin's wife sat in the corner, a daughter on either side, her arms around their shoulders, murmuring prayers softly.’
    • ‘She paces the room with her baby close to her chest, murmuring quietly against her ear to pacify her.’
    • ‘He groaned, and almost dreamily began to murmur to himself, ‘You'll show her.’’
    • ‘‘I still haven't had the pleasure of knowing your name,’ she murmured in a husky voice.’
    1. 1.1murmur againstarchaic no object Express one's discontent about (someone or something) in a subdued manner.
      ‘now they do not simply murmur against him, they quarrel noisily with him’
      • ‘But the scribes and the Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’’
      • ‘The murmurs against Bruno's physical and mental stamina had already begun.’
      complain, moan, mutter, grumble, grouse, carp, whine, bleat
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  • 2no object Make a low continuous sound.

    ‘the wind was murmuring through the trees’
    • ‘The sea is remarkably beautiful, turquoise blue and fawn at times, it rages, murmurs, sighs and sings.’
    • ‘If you listen long enough, you could swear you hear the trees talking, murmuring to themselves as they stand stoically in the teeth of the storm.’
    • ‘You will have just the sound of the wilderness, the wind murmuring through the trees and the sound of your reel as another big fish bends your stick while you and other members of your family who fish enjoy some great sport.’
    • ‘The air was luminous; a faint south wind murmured in the pine tops.’
    • ‘The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander n abysses of solitude.’
    • ‘The audience was murmuring, but Gwion continued with his speech.’
    mutter, mumble, whisper, talk under one's breath, speak in an undertone, speak softly, speak sotto voce, speak in hushed tones
    rustle, whir, burble, purl, rumble, sigh
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Phrases

  • without a murmur

    • Without complaining.

      ‘he paid for the meal without a murmur’
      • ‘Sure, I had to empty the hopper rather more frequently, and ended up with two sacks of cuttings rather than one, but the mower handled the job of cutting two week's growth without a murmur.’
      • ‘The teacher was Ok, though, and she accepted my excuse of being lost without a murmur.’
      • ‘I was now ready to bear whatever might ensue without a murmur.’
      • ‘Without mum to say they won't eat potatoes they will probably do what you suggest without a murmur.’
      • ‘Marjorie seems to accept the new arrangement without a murmur.’
      • ‘This deal would have gone through without a murmur if we hadn't fought back.’
      • ‘She was punctual and would work overtime without a murmur.’
      • ‘Many would have expected the matter to have been discussed at last month's county board meeting but it was passed over by delegates without a murmur, with the post left vacant.’
      • ‘When Antoninus died on 7 March 161, Marcus Aurelius succeeded without a murmur from either the army or the Senate.’
      • ‘And in both airports, the Swiss army knife on my keychain in my purse went through without a murmur.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French murmure, from murmurer ‘to murmur’, from Latin murmurare, from murmur ‘a murmur’.

Pronunciation

murmur

/ˈməːmə/